Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.
This week, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott convened a group of America’s most powerful oppressors for a seminar on how to create the next generation of oppressors.
Scott was part of the parade of GOP all-stars invited to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute’s “Time for Choosing” series to “specifically address fundamental questions, such as ‘Why are you a Republican?,’ ‘What should the Republican Party stand for?,’ and ‘What are the Republican philosophies we can all agree on?’ ” Billed as a speech on the future of the Republican Party, Scott warned the audience about “teaching kids that they are oppressors.”
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I agree with Tim Scott.
Becoming a licensed oppressor requires training, experience and, most of all, a willingness to adhere to the principles of whiteness. Much like piloting a plane or being a Black man in a party of white nationalists, oppressing people is a learned skill, not a birthright.
Imagine the morals and ethics Tim Scott had to chuck into the wind when he sabotaged police reform after spending the majority of his career pushing the Walter Scott Notification Act that would have created a database on police use of force. Think of how much history, data and personal experience Tim Scott had to ignore to arrive at the conclusion that “America is not a racist country.” To reach the level of oppression that made Scott a viable Republican presidential candidate, he had to publicly lie about his ancestors, oppose voting rights and – as he once told me – struggle to “come up with a concise definition of what systemic racism looks like.”
Oppressors like Tim Scott aren’t born; they are made.
And Scott is right. The best way to ensure that there will be another generation of oppressors is to teach children that they are not oppressors. That way, they can continue doing what white men have been doing since noted oppressor Thomas Jefferson came up with that “all-men-are-created equal” BS during his break from raping a little girls and beating the 10-year-old Black boys forced to work in Jefferson’s nail factory.
To assist our favorite Black Republican Senator in identifying the next generation of Mitch McConnells and Donald Trumps, we have created a 20-question quiz that will identify future students qualified to enroll in the Tim Scott International School of the Arts for Conservatives Oppressing Our Nation (the initials wouldn’t fit on a shirt).
1. Are you white?
- A. Yes
- B. No
- C. Race is a social construct
- D. I don’t see color
2. My school district is:
- A. Majority-white and funded adequately
- B. Majority-nonwhite and receives about $2,226 less per student than white school districts
- C. I just go to school where my parents send me
- D. I don’t like where this is going
3. Do your parents pay a higher property tax rate?
- A. My parents are white, so they pay lower income and property tax rates
- B. My parents are not white, so they pay higher income and property tax rates
- C. My parents are very rich, so they don’t have to pay taxes
- D. didn’t create the system; I’m a kid
4. Do your parents own a house or a car?
- A. I am white, so my parents are statistically more likely to own a house or car
- B. Yes. But I am Black, so my parents are statistically less likely to own a house or a car.
- C. Doesn’t everyone?
- D. What does this have to do with anything?
5. Is history important?
- A. Yes. We can’t know where we’re going unless we know where we’ve been
- B. That’s what they tell me
- C. Only my history is important
- D. I smell a trap
6. Where were the people from who colonized America?
- A. England
- B. The Netherlands
- C. Spain
- D. I prefer the term “settled”
7. Who were the people who were already in America when white people arrived?
- A. Indians
- B. Native Americans
- C. Pocahontas ‘nem
- D. I never bothered to learn the names of the indigenous nations who occupied the country I live in
8. Which people were enslaved in America?
- A. Black people
- B. Africans
- C. But the Irish were slaves, too
- D. Wait, you expect me to learn the names of the individual kingdoms where Africans came from? Why would I…Oh, I see where you’re going
9. How likely are you to use cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, an opioid or any illegal drug besides marijuana or alcohol?
- A. I’m white, so I’m statistically more likely to use an illegal drug in my lifetime
- B. I’m Black, so I’m statistically less likely to use an illegal drug in my lifetime
- C. I don’t do drugs
- D. Why, do you have some?
10. How likely are you to be arrested for using an illegal drug?
- A. I’m white, so it’s very unlikely
- B. I’m Black, so I’m about 5 times more likely to be arrested for illegal drugs
- C. I am not a cop, so it’s not up to me
- D. Again, I’m pretty sure this is critical race theory
11. If education is important, what have you or your parents ever done to demand an equal education system?
- A. Nothing
- B. We tweeted about it
- C. One person can’t change the system
- D. We attended school board meetings and voted for people who could change the system
12. If non-white people pay higher interest rates than whites with the same credit and income, attend better schools, live in neighborhoods with more resources, but pay lower tax rates and interest rates, where does that money those white people saved come from?
- A. White people. We just know how to spend money better
- B. Black people
- C. Jesus
- D. Big government
13. If history is important, how would the non-white people whose past has been erased by the country’s education system feel?
- A. Less important than the white people
- B. Like this country doesn’t belong to them
- C. Angry
- D. Invisible
14. If you know the history of Africans and indigenous people was erased, did you demand to learn as much about the history of the Africans and indigenous people as you learned about white people?
- A. No
- B. I just learned what they told me to learn
- C. Yes. But I had to go find it myself
- D. I’m pretty sure this is Critical Race Theory. I’m calling the police!
15. If white people use more drugs and are arrested less often, then how does white people’s drug use affect Black people?
- A. It supplies the criminal justice system with Black victims
- B. It enables a market that supplies drugs at a cost that makes them more affordable to Black communities
- C. The white people get the benefit of the illegal drug trade and escape punishment while the Black people are subjected to the criminal justice system
- D. Do you have some cocaine or not?
16. What have you done to change the criminal justice system?
- A. Nothing
- B. Did you even see my tweet?
- C. I have a ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirt
- D. I vote for politicians who will change the system and support grassroots organizations that will do the same
17. What is an oppressor?
- A. Something that makes white kids feel bad
- B. Something invented by critical race theorists
- C. Whatever it is, Tim Scott said I’m not one.
- D. According to the dictionary, it’s “a person or group that exercises authority or power over another in a harsh and burdensome way”
18. If everyone in America collectively stood against inequality, how long would it continue?
- A. 15 minutes
- B. One year
- C. I said I’m just one person
- D. Wait, so it’s my fault now?
19. If a person or group could stop the political, social and economic marginalization of an entire race of people but, for 400 years, either collectively supported or didn’t do anything to stop that authority and power from being exercised in a harsh and burdensome way, what would you call those people?
- A. White people
- B. Oppressors
- C. Americans
- D. Tim Scott
20. If someone wanted to stop future generations of children from continuing the tradition of oppression, how could they do that?
- A. Teach children about it in schools
- B. Teach children about it in their homes
- C. Everything they can
- D. Instead of taking the advice of Black scholars, educators and experts who studied the issue, trust the negro mouthpiece who represents the party of oppression
Get Tim Scott to take this quiz. The correct answer is always the opposite of what Tim Scott says.
Michael Harriot is a writer, cultural critic and championship-level Spades player. His book, Black AF History: The Unwhitewashed Story of America, will be released in 2022.
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